John Henry Wonderly

John Henry Wonderly, 95, died Thursday, July 4, 2013, at his home in Nampa, ID.

John was born Oct. 20, 1917, to John David and Clara Willis Wonderly in Centralia, WA.

John is survived by his two children: Kristine (Barry) Hopkins and John Dee (Sandy) Wonderly; by three grandchildren: Sara (Kevin) Murphy; John Christian Wonderly; Megan (Mike) Townsend; and three great-grandchildren: Karen, Sean, and Elizabeth.

Early on, John enjoyed working on engines. He bought his first car at age 13 for three dollars and used it to expedite his daily 50 mile paper route deliveries. After graduating from Centralia High School, he attended Hemphill Diesel School in Seattle, WA, and National Gasoline and Diesel Engineering School in Los Angeles, CA.

He joined the U.S. Army in 1941, serving as an officer in the 20th Armored Division in the European Theater. His unit took part in the liberation of Dachau. He was honorably discharged in 1946.

John married Eileen Fletcher in 1941; she died in 1942. In October 1944, he married Dema Maisch at Camp Campbell, KY. After his discharge from the service, they lived in the Longview-Kelso, WA, area for three years before moving to Aberdeen, ID, where both were employed by the Aberdeen School District. John served as the school district’s transportation supervisor and mechanic for 32 years and also taught auto mechanics. He served on the Aberdeen City Council and was an active member of the United Methodist Church. In 1993, John and Dema moved to Nampa to live near family. Dema died in 2007; they were married 62 years.

John loved spending time with his family. He was a kind, gentle and selfless man who enjoyed helping others. John had a passion for anything mechanical. He built two homes and a race car and loved to fish the Warm River in eastern Idaho. He was a life-long member of the United Methodist Church, and recently attended the First Presbyterian Church in Nampa.

John was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Dema, his first wife, Eileen, a sister, Lucille, and a brother, Paul.

The family is grateful to John’s wonderful neighbors and the Treasure Valley Hospice team for taking such good care of him.

A graveside service was held Tuesday, July 9, 11 a.m., at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery, Nampa, ID, under the direction of Flahiff Funeral Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be sent in John’s honor to the Idaho Youth Ranch.

Condolences for the family may be left online at

Thanks for reading!

Read more in this week's print edition.Subscribe Today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *